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Darvas Box Theory


The Darvas Box Theory is a trading strategy developed by Nicolas Darvas in the 1950s that involves tracking stock price movements and identifying distinct ranges or “boxes” within which stocks trade. These boxes are established by determining the stock’s highest and lowest price points within a given timeframe. Traders using this method buy when the price breaks above the box’s upper limit and sell when it falls below the lower limit, aiming to capitalize on momentum and trends.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Darvas Box Theory” is: DAHR-vuhs BOKS THEE-uh-ree.

Key Takeaways

  1. Darvas Box Theory is a trading strategy that focuses on identifying assets experiencing significant price movement, and buys breakouts and sells breakdowns in these price patterns.
  2. The basic concept behind the Darvas Box Theory is to visualize price movements in terms of “boxes.” These boxes represent a range in which the asset is trading, with the top line indicating resistance and the bottom line indicating support levels.
  3. Darvas Box Theory relies on a combination of technical and fundamental analysis, including price and volume data, to determine the right time to enter and exit trades, ultimately maximizing profits and minimizing losses.


The Darvas Box Theory is important in the world of business and finance because it offers a unique and simple approach to making informed decisions for stock trading and investment. Developed by Nicolas Darvas in the 1950s, this technical analysis method involves identifying stocks with strong momentum and buying them when they break out of a pre-defined box pattern formed by their historical stock prices. By isolating significant upward trends and consistently trading within these narrow price ranges, investors can capitalize on a stock’s gains and minimize potential losses. The Darvas Box Theory emphasizes discipline, patience, and strategic decision-making, ultimately empowering traders in their pursuit of sustained profitability in the market.


The Darvas Box Theory is a popular trading approach utilized by numerous traders and investors to detect generating signals based on established prices and volumes. Its primary purpose revolves around identifying stocks that display a robust upward momentum in their price movements. The technique is particularly valuable when striving to make a significant profit within a relatively short period. Developed by the renowned dancer and self-taught investor Nicolas Darvas in the 1950s, this methodology combines both technical analysis and fundamental analysis while concentrating on the stock’s price and volume behavior.

In practical application, the Darvas Box Theory seeks to identify a series of higher highs and higher lows, forming a “box” that effectively represents trading channels or price ranges. By focusing on stocks exceeding their historical 52-week highs, investors can pinpoint opportunities which demonstrate strong market perception and enhanced growth potential. As the stock price breaks above the top of the box, it triggers a bullish signal, initiating the perfect moment to enter the market. Conversely, it suggests selling or exiting the position when the stock’s price descends below the bottom of the box, thus providing a robust mechanism to manage risk and protect investments efficiently. Ultimately, the Darvas Box Theory serves as an essential tool for traders and investors seeking a systematic, methodical strategy to capitalize on bullish market trends and capture gains in perpetually evolving financial landscapes.


The Darvas Box Theory is a trading strategy developed by Nicolas Darvas, a dancer-turned-investor who made a fortune in the stock market in the 1950s. The theory involves identifying stocks that are experiencing a steady uptrend and are likely to continue their upward trajectory. Here are three real-world examples where the Darvas Box Theory has been applied:

1. Tesla Inc. (TSLA) – In late 2019 and early 2020, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. experienced a significant increase in its stock prices. During this phase, a trader using the Darvas Box Theory could have identified a series of progressively higher price boxes, indicating a strong uptrend. Traders who bought Tesla stock during this period, and followed the Darvas Box method, would have seen substantial gains.

2. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) – During 2018 and 2019, semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) saw a continuous increase in its stock price, with identifiable Darvas Boxes forming during this period. A trader employing the Darvas Box Theory could have entered the market at progressively higher breakout prices and profited from AMD’s strong uptrend.

3. Amazon Inc. (AMZN) – E-commerce giant Amazon Inc. has shown a sustained growth in its stock price over the years. During the period between 2015 and 2018, the stock price formed multiple Darvas Boxes, indicating the potential for further growth. Identifying these boxes and investing at the right time could have led to substantial returns for traders following the Darvas Box Theory.Please note that these examples are for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. Investing in stocks carries risks, and you should do thorough research and consult with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Darvas Box Theory?

The Darvas Box Theory is a trading strategy developed by Nicolas Darvas in the 1950s. It is a momentum-based technique used to identify stocks with the potential for significant price increases by focusing on identifying specific stocks with increasing volumes and prices.

How does the Darvas Box work?

The Darvas Box is created using the highest and lowest prices of a stock over a defined period. When a breakout above the top of the box occurs, it is considered a buy signal. Conversely, a breakdown below the lower boundary is taken as a sell signal. The central idea is to capture the stock’s momentum as it moves upwards and sell when the momentum weakens.

What are the key components of the Darvas Box Theory?

There are two main components: the Box Formation and the Stop Loss. The Box Formation represents the trading range of a stock, and the Stop Loss is placed below the lower edge of the box to minimize losses in case the trade goes against the investor’s expectations.

How can I implement the Darvas Box Theory in my trading strategy?

To implement the Darvas Box Theory in your trading strategy, first, identify stocks in uptrends with increasing volume. Next, chart the stock prices and identify the Darvas Boxes by marking the highs and lows over a certain period. Finally, monitor the stock for potential breakouts or breakdowns to execute buy or sell orders accordingly.

Can the Darvas Box Theory be used in all market scenarios?

The Darvas Box Theory is primarily used during bull markets as it is designed to capture the momentum of increasing prices and volume. It is generally less effective in sideways or bearish markets.

What is the main advantage of using the Darvas Box Theory?

The main advantage is that it helps investors to focus on stocks with strong growth potential. It provides clear buy and sell signals, which can aid in reducing emotional impulses that could negatively impact trading decisions.

Are there any limitations to the Darvas Box Theory?

Yes, there are a few limitations. The Darvas Box Theory works best in a strongly trending market and is less effective in choppy or bearish markets. Additionally, the simple identification of breakouts above the box does not account for possible false signals or news-driven volatility. Finally, this technique lacks flexibility, as it ignores the possibility of stock prices moving sideways.

Related Finance Terms

  • Technical analysis
  • Momentum trading
  • Price breakout
  • Stop loss
  • Trading volume

Sources for More Information

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